OSHA Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR)
Hazardous waste operations and emergency response.
Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR 1910) - Table of Contents
- Standard Number: 1910.120
- Standard Title: Hazardous waste operations and emergency
- SubPart Number: H
- SubPart Title: Hazardous Materials
Response Inspection Procedures
Emergency response program to hazardous substance releases.
This paragraph covers employers whose employees are engaged in emergency
response no matter where it occurs except that it does not cover employees
engaged in operations specified in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (a)(1)(iv)
of this section. Those emergency response organizations who have developed
and implemented programs equivalent to this paragraph for handling releases
of hazardous substances pursuant to section 303 of the Superfund Amendments
and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know
Act of 1986, 42 U.S.C. 11003) shall be deemed to have met the requirements
of this paragraph.
Emergency response plan. An emergency response plan shall
be developed and implemented to handle anticipated emergencies prior
to the commencement of emergency response operations. The plan shall
be in writing and available for inspection and copying by employees,
their representatives, OSHA personnel. Employers who will evacuate their
employees from the danger area when an emergency occurs, and who do
not permit any of their employees to assist in handling the emergency,
are exempt from the requirements of this paragraph if they provide an
emergency action plan complying with section 1910.38(a) of this part.
Elements of an emergency response plan. The employer shall
develop an emergency response plan for emergencies which shall address,
as a minimum, the following areas to the extent that they are not addressed
in any specific program required in this paragraph:
Pre-emergency planning and coordination with outside parties..
Personnel roles, lines of authority, training, and communication.
Emergency recognition and prevention.
Safe distances and places of refuge.
Site security and control.
Evacuation routes and procedures.
- (q)(2)(vii) Decontamination.
Emergency medical treatment and first aid.
Emergency alerting and response procedures.
- (q)(2)(x) Critique
of response and follow-up.
PPE and emergency equipment.
Emergency response organizations may use the local emergency response
plan or the state emergency response plan or both, as part of their
emergency response plan to avoid duplication. Those items of the emergency
response plan that are being properly addressed by the SARA Title
III plans may be substituted into their emergency plan or otherwise
kept together for the employer and employee's use.
Procedures for handling emergency response.
The senior emergency response official responding to an
emergency shall become the individual in charge of a site-specific Incident
Command System (ICS). All emergency responders and their communications
shall be coordinated and controlled through the individual in charge
of the ICS assisted by the senior official present for each employer.
NOTE TO (q)(3)(i). - The "senior official" at an emergency
response is the most senior official on the site who has the responsibility
for controlling the operations at the site. Initially it is the senior
officer on the first-due piece of responding emergency apparatus to
arrive on the incident scene. As more senior officers arrive (i.e. ,
battalion chief, fire chief, state law enforcement official, site coordinator,
etc.) the position is passed up the line of authority which has been
The individual in charge of the ICS shall identify, to
the extent possible, all hazardous substances or conditions present
and shall address as appropriate site analysis, use of engineering controls,
maximum exposure limits, hazardous substance handling procedures, and
use of any new technologies.
Based on the hazardous substances and/or conditions present,
the individual in charge of the ICS shall implement appropriate emergency
operations, and assure that the personal protective equipment worn is
appropriate for the hazards to be encountered. However, personal protective
equipment shall meet, at a minimum, the criteria contained in 29 CFR
1910.156(e) when worn while performing fire fighting operations beyond
the incipient stage for any incident.
Employees engaged in emergency response and exposed to
hazardous substances presenting an inhalation hazard or potential inhalation
hazard shall wear positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus
while engaged in emergency response, until such time that the individual
in charge of the ICS determines through the use of air monitoring that
a decreased level of respiratory protection will not result in hazardous
exposures to employees.
The individual in charge of the ICS shall limit the number
of emergency response personnel at the emergency site, in those areas
of potential or actual exposure to incident or site hazards, to those
who are actively performing emergency operations. However, operations
in hazardous areas shall be performed using the buddy system in groups
of two or more.
Back-up personnel shall be standing by with equipment
ready to provide assistance or rescue. Qualified basic life support
personnel, as a minimum, shall also be standing by with medical equipment
and transportation capability.
The individual in charge of the ICS shall designate a
safety officer, who is knowledgeable in the operations being implemented
at the emergency response site, with specific responsibility to identify
and evaluate hazards and to provide direction with respect to the safety
of operations for the emergency at hand.
When activities are judged by the safety officer to be
an IDLH and/or to involve an imminent danger condition, the safety officer
shall have the authority to alter, suspend, or terminate those activities.
The safety official shall immediately inform the individual in charge
of the ICS of any actions needed to be taken to correct these hazards
at the emergency scene.
After emergency operations have terminated, the individual
in charge of the ICS shall implement appropriate decontamination procedures.
When deemed necessary for meeting the tasks at hand, approved
self-contained compressed air breathing apparatus may be used with approved
cylinders from other approved self-contained compressed air breathing
apparatus provided that such cylinders are of the same capacity and
pressure rating. All compressed air cylinders used with self-contained
breathing apparatus shall meet U.S. Department of Transportation and
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health criteria.
Skilled support personnel. Personnel, not necessarily
an employer's own employees, who are skilled in the operation of certain
equipment, such as mechanized earth moving or digging equipment or crane
and hoisting equipment, and who are needed temporarily to perform immediate
emergency support work that cannot reasonably be performed in a timely
fashion by an employer's own employees, and who will be or may be exposed
to the hazards at an emergency response scene, are not required to meet
the training required in this paragraph for the employer's regular employees.
However, these personnel shall be given an initial briefing at the site
prior to their participation in any emergency response. The initial
briefing shall include instruction in the wearing of appropriate personal
protective equipment, what chemical hazards are involved, and what duties
are to be performed. All other appropriate safety and health precautions
provided to the employer's own employees shall be used to assure the
safety and health of these personnel.
Specialist employees. Employees who, in the course of
their regular job duties, work with and are trained in the hazards of
specific hazardous substances, and who will be called upon to provide
technical advice or assistance at a hazardous substance release incident
to the individual in charge, shall receive training or demonstrate competency
in the area of their specialization annually.
Training. Training shall be based on the duties and function
to be performed by each responder of an emergency response organization.
The skill and knowledge levels required for all new responders, those
hired after the effective date of this standard, shall be conveyed to
them through training before they are permitted to take part in actual
emergency operations on an incident. Employees who participate, or are
expected to participate, in emergency response, shall be given training
in accordance with the following paragraphs:
First responder awareness level. First responders at the
awareness level are individuals who are likely to witness or discover
a hazardous substance release and who have been trained to initiate
an emergency response sequence by notifying the proper authorities of
the release. They would take no further action beyond notifying the
authorities of the release. First responders at the awareness level
shall have sufficient training or have had sufficient experience to
objectively demonstrate competency in the following areas:
An understanding of what hazardous substances are, and the risks associated
with them in an incident.
An understanding of the potential outcomes associated with an emergency
created when hazardous substances are present.
The ability to recognize the presence of hazardous substances in an
The ability to identify the hazardous substances, if possible.
- (q)(6)(i)(E) An
understanding of the role of the first responder awareness individual
in the employer's emergency response plan including site security
and control and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Emergency
The ability to realize the need for additional resources, and to make
appropriate notifications to the communication center.
First responder operations level. First responders at the operations
level are individuals who respond to releases or potential releases
of hazardous substances as part of the initial response to the site
for the purpose of protecting nearby persons, property, or the environment
from the effects of the release. They are trained to respond in a defensive
fashion without actually trying to stop the release. Their function
is to contain the release from a safe distance, keep it from spreading,
and prevent exposures. First responders at the operational level shall
have received at least eight hours of training or have had sufficient
experience to objectively demonstrate competency in the following areas
in addition to those listed for the awareness level and the employer
shall so certify:
Knowledge of the basic hazard and risk assessment techniques.
Know how to select and use proper personal protective equipment provided
to the first responder operational level.
(q)(6)(ii)(C) An understanding of
basic hazardous materials terms.
(q)(6)(ii)(D) Know how to perform
basic control, containment and/or confinement operations within the
capabilities of the resources and personal protective equipment available
with their unit.
(q)(6)(ii)(E) Know how to implement
basic decontamination procedures.
An understanding of the relevant standard operating procedures and
Hazardous materials technician. Hazardous materials technicians
are individuals who respond to releases or potential releases for the
purpose of stopping the release. They assume a more aggressive role
than a first responder at the operations level in that they will approach
the point of release in order to plug, patch or otherwise stop the release
of a hazardous substance. Hazardous materials technicians shall have
received at least 24 hours of training equal to the first responder
operations level and in addition have competency in the following areas
and the employer shall so certify:
Know how to implement the employer's emergency response plan.
Know the classification, identification and verification of known
and unknown materials by using field survey instruments and equipment.
Be able to function within an assigned role in the Incident Command
Know how to select and use proper specialized chemical personal protective
equipment provided to the hazardous materials technician.
Understand hazard and risk assessment techniques.
Be able to perform advance control, containment, and/or confinement
operations within the capabilities of the resources and personal protective
equipment available with the unit.
Understand and implement decontamination procedures.
Understand termination procedures.
(q)(6)(iii)(I) Understand basic chemical
and toxicological terminology and behavior.
Hazardous materials specialist. Hazardous materials specialists
are individuals who respond with and provide support to hazardous materials
technicians. Their duties parallel those of the hazardous materials
technician, however, those duties require a more directed or specific
knowledge of the various substances they may be called upon to contain.
The hazardous materials specialist would also act as the site liaison
with Federal, state, local and other government authorities in regards
to site activities. Hazardous materials specialists shall have received
at least 24 hours of training equal to the technician level and in addition
have competency in the following areas and the employer shall so certify:
Know how to implement the local emergency response plan.
Understand classification, identification and verification of known
and unknown materials by using advanced survey instruments and equipment.
Know the state emergency response plan.
(q)(6)(iv)(D) Be able to select and
use proper specialized chemical personal protective equipment provided
to the hazardous materials specialist.
Understand in-depth hazard and risk techniques.
Be able to perform specialized control, containment, and/or confinement
operations within the capabilities of the resources and personal protective
Be able to determine and implement decontamination procedures.
Have the ability to develop a site safety and control plan.
(q)(6)(iv)(I) Understand chemical,
radiological and toxicological terminology and behavior.
On scene incident commander. Incident commanders, who
will assume control of the incident scene beyond the first responder
awareness level, shall receive at least 24 hours of training equal to
the first responder operations level and in addition have competency
in the following areas and the employer shall so certify:
Know and be able to implement the employer's incident command system.
Know how to implement the employer's emergency response plan.
Know and understand the hazards and risks associated with employees
working in chemical protective clothing.
- (q)(6)(v)(D) Know
how to implement the local emergency response plan.
Know of the state emergency response plan and of the Federal Regional
Know and understand the importance of decontamination procedures.
Trainers. Trainers who teach any of the above training
subjects shall have satisfactorily completed a training course for teaching
the subjects they are expected to teach, such as the courses offered
by the U.S. National Fire Academy, or they shall have the training and/or
academic credentials and instructional experience necessary to demonstrate
competent instructional skills and a good command of the subject matter
of the courses they are to teach.
Those employees who are trained in accordance with paragraph
(q)(6) of this section shall receive annual refresher training of sufficient
content and duration to maintain their competencies, or shall demonstrate
competency in those areas at least yearly.
A statement shall be made of the training or competency,
and if a statement of competency is made, the employer shall keep a
record of the methodology used to demonstrate competency.
Medical surveillance and consultation.
Members of an organized and designated HAZMAT team and
hazardous materials specialist shall receive a baseline physical examination
and be provided with medical surveillance as required in paragraph (f)
of this section.
Any emergency response employees who exhibit signs or
symptoms which may have resulted from exposure to hazardous substances
during the course of an emergency incident either immediately or subsequently,
shall be provided with medical consultation as required in paragraph
(f)(3)(ii) of this section.
Chemical protective clothing. Chemical protective clothing
and equipment to be used by organized and designated HAZMAT team members,
or to be used by hazardous materials specialists, shall meet the requirements
of paragraphs (g)(3) through (5) of this section.
Post-emergency response operations. Upon completion of
the emergency response, if it is determined that it is necessary to
remove hazardous substances, health hazards and materials contaminated
with them (such as contaminated soil or other elements of the natural
environment) from the site of the incident, the employer conducting
the clean-up shall comply with one of the following:
Meet all the requirements of paragraphs (b) through (o)
of this section; or
Where the clean-up is done on plant property using plant
or workplace employees, such employees shall have completed the training
requirements of the following: 29 CFR 1910.38(a); 1910.134; 1910.1200,
and other appropriate safety and health training made necessary by the
tasks that they are expected to be performed such as personal protective
equipment and decontamination procedures. All equipment to be used in
the performance of the clean-up work shall be in serviceable condition
and shall have been inspected prior to use.
APPENDICES TO 1910.120 - HAZARDOUS WASTE OPERATIONS AND
NOTE: The following appendices serve as non-mandatory
guidelines to assist employees and employers in complying with the appropriate
requirements of this section. However paragraph 1910.120(g) makes mandatory
in certain circumstances the use of Level A and Level B PPE protection.
[61 FR 9227, March 7, 1996]
CPL 02-02-059 (old name - CPL 2-2.59A) - Inspection Procedures for the
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard, 29 CFR
1910.120 and 1926.65, Paragraph (q): Emergency Response to Hazardous
Standard Interpretations referencing 1910.120:
Emergency Preparedness - Chemical
A chemical attack is the deliberate release of a toxic gas, liquid or
solid that can poison people and the environment. For information on
chemical preparedness, see the following:
OSHA's Responder page
OSHA and its State Plan partners helps set and implement national safety
and health standards for emergency responders. Foremost among these
standards is the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response
standard of 29 CFR 1910.120(q). Among other provisions, the standard
requires entities engaged in emergency response to provide appropriate
training to their workers; to use an incident command system; to develop
a written response plan that includes personnel roles, lines of
authority and communication, site security and control, medical and
emergency alert procedures; and to provide workers with appropriate